May 12, 2016: Coming From Experience

Bang Por Pier
  • Woke up this morning and did the morning Kriyas and some sun salutations. I also did a short personal meditation and drew a Tarot card: 15 / Saturn / Black Magic. This is a card I get frequently and another one that could be scary without a more positive interpretation. Basically, it should be a challenging day, so I prepare to accept bumps in the road and try to learn as much as possible from them.
  • I head to Agama for the morning meditation. It is the prachyamachaya (sp?) meditation. Vinod is there :) It's another great energy experience and puts me in a great place to start the day.
  • I sit down at the cafe and chat with Aernoud prior to the morning class.

Agama Morning: Sarvangasana

  • Shoulder stand
  • Means "all limb pose".
  • Works on the entire body.
  • Dubbed the "queen of all asanas" due to its power and importance.
  • Attention is focused on cosmic energy coming through the feet from above -- the feet should be kept relaxed to allow for energy flow as in qigong.
  • Focus is put on vissuda chakra or throat. 
  • This asana has massive healing effects and should save on the doctor's bills.
    • This is the second really good asana for healing via Swami Shivananda.
    • Helps with sore throat, head and the neck.
  • Reverse asana; feet are above the head, upside down.
    • The "soma", "nectar" or "ambrosia" is flowing down.
    • We are getting older, but upside down, reverses the aging process.
  • Vissuda is connection between four elements and the head / crown chakra.
  • This asana features sublimation, flushing the energy up.
    • Suffering comes from the lower chakra.
    • A mention of the alchemists and turning lead into gold.
    • Converts energy of one type to another type.
  • Sublimation is easier than gathering new energy to a target chakra.
  • We only sublime what we do not need.
  • Activate the lower chakras by interacting with nature; earth, water, fire.
  • Don't take energy from higher chakras down -- we don't want to turn gold into lead.
  • Negative / unpleasant emotions are in the lower chakras.
    • Muldahara - laziness, fear
    • Swaddhistana - depression, jealousy
    • Manipura - anger, aggressiveness, pwower, games, ego
  • Emotions are powered by energy
  • If you cut the source of a negative emotion, you get rid of it.
  • Sublimation is not repression
  • Sublimation many not solve the root of the problem right now, but it gives the time and peace of mind until one is strong enough to deal with it.
  • "Problems cannot be solved at the same level of consciousness they were cerated at." - Einstein
  • Sarvangasana sublimates to "mental sphere", the top three chakras, but the focus in on vissuda.

Reflection

  • During this practice, especially during the tree pose, I think I notice the yin side of my body, specifically my left arm gathing a ton of cosmic energy, but I don't feel it flow into the left side of my torso. I think it is related to my experience yesterday with gomukasana and the blockage or emotional reaction I had. As I feel into it further, I think I am noticing a concentration of pressure and tiny pain deep in my left armpit. I've got some ideas I want to explore further.
  • All sort of weirdness after class. Was approached by three different people trying to see what my plans were for lunch, but they all kind of evaporated. I decided to just ride my bike up north and explore the island a little further. Riding north through Haad Salaad, I kept going past the site of my previous ditch adventure and further north, to a little area I think is named Bang Por? I stopped at a few little places looking for a good place for lunch and found one with a nice view, sitting down for some seafood pad thai.
  • I enjoyed it there for a few months and caught up on the reading for the course workbook.
  • I went back to Agama and hung out in the cafe for an hour or so before the afternoon class.
  • After afternoon class, in which I experienced a more accute senstation in my left armpit, I approached the teacher and asked if she knew about the nadis or energy structure there. They recommended I visit the healing center or contact a senior teacher to learn more. On the way out of the hall to grab a snack, I saw Keith, our level one program leader but he didn't know either. I googled quickly and found an article saying that we have some subordinate chakras called Kaksa chakras under our armpits. It had a recommendation for a bunch of asanas to help, but I decided to just keep doing more gomukasana during the evening lecture and it started to help the sensation. Shortly thereafter, I felt a then sensation of energy flowing into my left side, and for the rest of the evening, into the next day, I have had spasms around my left nipple, which I interpret as opening up of the yin secondary anahata chakra. There was also a greater sensation and connection to the anahata concept, and it was easier to tap into this energy, feeling like it was way to work toward receiving love. This is exciting process to go through and an encouraging exercise in self-diagnosing and working on myself through the medium of the physical body. 

Agama Evening: Yama III: Asteya

  • "Non-theft" - do not take
  • The only one who is truly rich is he who is poor in desire.
  • "To break a yama or niyama is to observe it" - you have to notice the things that benefit or harm you.
  • Helpful examples for thought:
    • When something is lying around and nobody is there to claim it?
    • Taking advantage of someone elses mistake? Extra change at the cash register?
    • Wishing for something; mentally coveting anything -- a thing, a relationship, anything.
    • Someone has abundance; they won't miss it!
    • Stealing an idea? Hearing stuff and pretending it is yours?
      • We can own an idea by PRACTICE, by integrating it into our life or experience.
    • Stealing from the future. The planet? Future generations?
    • Stealing time. Tardiness?
    • Does anything actually belong to any of us if we are all one?
      • Can't apply absolute principles to a relative world. While our consciousness fluctuates between levels, unity and separateness, we have to be honest with ourselves and realistic in the world around us.
    • Having abundance: using our excess to benefit others? Greed?
    • Abundance vs scarcity
      • Use the new tools we are learning in yoga to bring things into out lives.
      • Those who have the most, often want more.
  • After the evening lecture, Claire came over to my mat and asked to grab dinner. While we were walking out, Bryan struck up a conversation, so all three of us walked across the street to The Green Garden for dinner. We sat outside and talked for an hour and a half over the meal. After our prior conversation, Bryan picked up a book on astrology from the Agama Yogi Library and has been reading it, excited to find out about his friends back home via their sun signs. Over dinner, I stoked his enthusiasm a bit more, and tapped into mine, which emerges whenever I talk about astrology. I explained my current understanding about the relationship of the Sun and Moon, and the significance of the Ascendent. It also turned out that Claire has been to Burning Man twice, and Bryan's virgin year was last year. We were all at the Burn together last year! Claire also asked if any of us were experiencing different visualizations or sensations as a result of the practice and program. She's been having some cool experiences and wanted to compare notes. I am not very visual (yet) so I couldn't relate, but did share a bit of what I think I know about Kundalini and opening chakras. After a nice meal, we walked back across the street. I was excited for another Satsang, seeing how much I learned from the first one.

Satsung: Upanishads - Mahavakyas

  • Yoga is more; it is Indian tradition, greater than the tantric texts.
  • "Yoga of selfless action"
  • The Upanishads are a collection of texts of Hindu philosophical concepts; can be Buddhist or other groups.
  • They contain revelations of ultimate reality; the name of God, "Brahman" which is a Sanskrit word beyond gender, "the Absolute".
  • Escapes the problem of existence of a personal God.
    • (+) Takes spirituality to sahasrara and ajna chakras, depersonalized deity, universal energy.
    • (-) The downside is difficult to connect with emotionally, some people have a problem feeling love for an impersonal deity.
  • Vedanta is the Vedas, but updated.
    • Know thyself.
  • There are 200 Upanishads, the first 12 are the most important ones, of principle.
    • Means "sitting down with the teacher", transmission of master to student.
    • Scholarly Karma yoga -- anonymous authors attribute the truths to God.
  • 2 concepts; Brahman and Atman
    • The relationship between the Absolute and Spirit
    • Atman and Brahman are one and the same. This is monoism.
  • Mahavakya Upanishads are "the great speech".
    • It begins "in those days", which infers an archetypal reality, similar to "once upon a time" from fairy tales. We can believe it or not, it is either madness, or sacred widsom, you be the judge.
    • It follows that this is for he who walks the satvic path as opposed to the tomasic or rajasic path. Tomasic is the lazy temprament, the rajasic temperament is overenthusiastic. The satvic is the middle path, the path of balance and Truth.
      • Don't throw pearls to swine. This knowledge is for those who are balance, ready, and want it.
    • There are two attitudes; knowledge and ignorance -- this comment reminds me of the Tarot card The Fool, where it represents both the ignorant adventurer starting out on the journey of life, or the truly wise man, whose actions seem like folly per the perspective of the world around him.
    • Buddha says the cause of pain is ignorance. It is only alleviated by knowledge, which is gained by experience.
    • Apparently the vissuda has five elements; the key is either knowledge or ignorance which either frees or imprisons.
      • When out of balance, there is skewed knowledge, which is ignorance.
      • The DEVIL is misinformation.
    • Only true knowledge is archetypal.
    • Vedantans want to go to Spirit via a shortcut. Painful and radical.
    • The physical world is darkness, born of an egg without limit or end and moves by love and by Brahman.
    • The spirit is not darkness, it is knowledge.
      • The sun is a physical manifestation of our light from within. Unlike the Moon, which reflects the light of the Sun, the Sun shines of it's own power.
    • The Sun and Spirit is put in us via the breath.
      • Breathing mantra Ham Sa means "I am Him" - the Ajapa Mantra.
        • Breath slowly
        • Follow the breath
        • Prolonged practice
        • Meditate on the Triad of the Absolute (in all spiritual systems, the Trinity)
      • Shines liek the light of 1000 suns, cannot be extinguished
    • Samadhi, stopping thought is not the goal, it is to KNOW the absolute.
    • If you reach the light of the Spirit, you are free.
      • Omniscience
      • Only through the light of Spirit / God does the human reach immortality.
    • To study this text washes all ones sins away -- karma.
  • I am fully aware that the notes above are fragmented and tough to follow. This talk was really amazing to be in and very inspiring. It was a great opportunity to see Swami demonstrate his depth of knowledge, thought and interpretation. I found myself very inspired and profoundly humbled, knowing there is a lot I can learn at this place, from this guy and the people he influences. The text itself is very short, with 12 pieces, but his ability to dig into the depth of each piece so effectively and present it so clearly with so much cultural and historical context is amazing. I found myself writing furiously, mapping connections to all sort of things I have light knowledge of and feeling amazing energy in my ajna and crown chakras. In terms of personal messages I feel like I received through the talk, there has been a collective message I think I should be aware of that has come through the Satsang and Keith's talk on Truth. It is the reiteration of the importance of true knowledge being based on experience. I understand this best via Cisco, one of the astrology teachers at Carroll Righter who uses the procedural relationship between Sagittarius (concept and theory), which gives way to Capricorn (experience in the world) which translates to the sign of knowledge, Aquarius. I've been working on this, but I feel a stark reminder to make sure that when I communicate or inspire people, to make sure that what I say comes from my own experience, and preface it with that. It's easy for me to get wrapped up in a new philosophy and adopt it for my own in conversation, half to test it out for myself on someone else. I need to make sure I'm only speaking from my own experience and remind myself and others that my perspectives are not absolute, they are relative to my own life. To that extent they are true for me, but invariably all my ideas are not accurate. In my experience, there has always been a harsh reality of opening up to a higher level of consciousness, which shows me (sometimes painfully) that everything I took to be true is only one half of a higher polarity. This resets the bases of what is what and sets me on another journey of experience to integrate it appropriately with enhanced new perceptions. There is also the reminder not to throw pearls to swine, to make sure that I'm not oversharing things that people aren't ready for or arn't interested in. That said, I think as long as I meditate on all this and work on it, doing my best in every moment, I can continue to grow myself and support others.

Add new comment